Octavia and Vinyl watched Ponyville shrink out of view as the carriage moved onward.
"It really is sad to be leaving...but it only makes me that much happier to know we will be living there from now on." Octavia said, smiling through the sadness.
"Yeah, tell me about it. It was really nice of Lyra to come out and see you off." Vinyl said. "That was really classy of her."
"That was probably the nicest thing Lyra has ever done to me..." Octavia said softly. "I still feel guilty over everything that happened between us..." Octavia murmured, bowing her head slightly.
"Hey, hey, it's over now, right? No need to keep beating yourself up over it." Vinyl said, giving her a gentle nuzzle. "You were convinced that Lyra had messed you up that night, and you weren't gonna make nice with somepony like that. I probably woulda roughed her up, but that's me. You showed you've got class by keeping it to insults."
"I...suppose you are right, Vinyl. I just feel like I could have saved both her and myself many stressful nights trying to outdo one another...but then again, the fighting has done nothing but make us strive harder towards our goal of becoming great musicians...so in a sense we NEEDED the fight." Octavia reasoned, making sense of it.
"You see? No need to worry yourself over it, okay?" Vinyl said, snuggling up against her.
"You are being awfully affectionate all of a sudden, Vinyl...what are you getting at?"
"Oh, nothing really." Vinyl said in a suggestive tone. When Octavia caught on, she turned a bright shade of red.
"No! No, no, NO! Absolutely not! Not in a carriage being towed by two stallions! Are you CRAZY!?"
"Hi, I'm Vinyl Scratch. Have we met?" Vinyl smirked, raising a hoof.
"I swear you are a stallion in the body of a mare." Octavia sighed.
"You sure don't mind that in bed." Vinyl returned.
"TH-THAT IS IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT!" Octavia scolded, her face even redder than ever.
"You get really cute when you get angry." Vinyl said.
"I'm going to hit you." Octavia warned.
"Ooh yes, just like that- you know I like it rough." Vinyl said in mock pleasure.
"Rrrrgh! Vinyl! Octavia growled.
"Rawr~" Vinyl returned.
The two stallions pulling the carriage looked at each other, and cursed the fact that they could not stop to look.
"The answer is no, Vinyl. Not happening for you."
"Aww...you're no fun." Vinyl pouted.
"I am very sorry, but "doing the deed" in public is not my definition of fun." Octavia said. "That is all I will say on the matter."
After a few moments of silence passed, Vinyl spoke up again. "Are we there yet?"
"Vinyl, we have only been traveling for a half-hour!" Octavia said forcefully.
"Are we there yeeeet?!"
Octavia face-hoofed hard enough it left a small mark on her forehead. "NO, VINYL! NO WE ARE NOT!"
Vinyl simply stared at Octavia. "You coulda just said no...no need to yell..." It was at that point that Octavia grew so angry so quickly, it manifested itself in yet another very violent twitch.
"Uh...what was that?" Vinyl asked.
"Oh, just my body's way of preventing me from strangling you."
"D'aww, you're cute when you threaten me."
"...Can we please talk about something else before I end up a single parent?" Octavia warned.
"Hmmm...you never did get around to telling me what YOUR parents were like." Vinyl said. Octavia blinked in surprise. Vinyl was absolutely correct. Vinyl had recounted the story of her own parents, so it was only fair that Octavia do the same.
"Well, I suppose I can tell you a bit about them." She cleared her throat, and continued. "Well, my father was born in Scoltland to rather humble beginnings..."
A young stallion by the name of Kester hopped off the carriage, taking his first breath of city air. "Well A'll be...the fine ol' city o' Birminghoof! Maybe A'll finally begin ta' kick off ma' career as a harpist!" he said excitedly in a thick Scoltish accent. He shook a bit of his fiery red mane out of his face, his bright violet eyes taking in everything they could. "A' mean, it's only a' matter o' time before A'm famous...A' am the best in the world at what A' do," he smirked, flexing the muscles just under his harp cutie mark, surrounded by a sea of gold fur.
The sights were incredible. Birminghoof was a bustling city filled with life, much unlike the Hayland Islands, which was merely a pinprick on the map of Scoltland. Kester trotted quickly to the back of the carriage, and lugged the massive harp case off of it and onto his back. Being somepony who helped on his family's farm, he had the body strength to carry it.
"Huh...A' wonder where A'm supposed ta' go first..." He pulled his map of Birminghoof out of his saddlebag, and held it open. "...Says A'm supposed ta' go to...the 'Birminghoof Hippodrome'...what the buck is a "hippo dome"? He questioned out loud. When he looked up, a mare had covered her son's ears at the apparent curse-word. "Ah, sorry. It slipped out." A'd better watch ma' language...A'm not on the farm anymore. A' got ta' be more civilized. he thought as the mare gave him a dirty look.
Kester continued trotting down the sidewalk, carriages speeding past him as other ponies trotted to and fro to their destinations, busy with their daily lives. He couldn't help but look around him, completely oblivious to the fact that he was knocking other ponies over with the massive harp-case on his back. "A' like this place!" he grinned, unaware of the fact that several ponies looked ready to jump him. After what seemed like trotting for miles, he found the place he was slated to go. He entered the massive building, and climbed the steps, the harp-case rocking back and forth precariously as he did. He pushed open the doors to the sound of a mare yelling.
"Ugh! Get OFF of my stage! That was the WORST performance I have heard in all my days as the Premier Conductor for the Birminghoof Hippodrome! Out of my sight!" she yelled, the pony on stage scurrying off in embarrassment.
"Woah...she sounds like quite tha' prize..." he said to himself as he walked. As he neared the stage, he turned to look at her, and felt his heart stop. This mare, as harsh as she was, was a total knock-out. A coat as grey as slate, a mane as black as night, but eyes greener than the grass back home in the Hayland Islands.
"Name please?" she demanded.
"Oh, wonderful...another rube with half a brain." She clapped her hooves together forcefully to bring him back to reality. "NAME, PLEASE!"
He blinked a few times, regaining his wits. "The name's Kester Malt...and yer' gorgeous. How may A' address ya?" he said in a mock suave voice.
The mare face-hoofed so hard he was sure she had cracked her skull. "You may call me Miss Philharmonica."
"Uh...are ya' alright there, lass?" he asked, moving toward her a bit.
"...If you are not on-stage in the next THIRTY SECONDS I swear you will regret it." she growled threateningly from behind her hoof. Not one to push his luck, he did as he was told.
"Kester Malt, eh?" She said, restating his name. "You work with alcohol?"
"Yes, actually. Ma' father's farm grows the barley malt tha's used in Jura's whiskey." he said, setting up his harp.
"Interesting. I enjoy a glass of Jura now and again."
"Maybe If A' impress ya with ma' harp, ye'll let me take ya' out for a glass."
"Very bold, Mister Malt. Very bold..." What a rube. "...but I decline."
"What? Are ya scared, Miss Philharmonica?" he grinned.
The mare blushed, and scowled at him. "...You know what? Fine. If- and ONLY if- you impress me, I MIGHT just let you take me out for a glass of Jura. I may even tell you my first name...but I will warn you- I have been doing this job for fifteen years. I am not easy to impress," she smirked. This idiot has no chance.
"A' think A' can change the tone of yer voice in just a moment." he winked, sitting at his harp.
He began to play slowly, his hooves gently raking the edges of the strings, the notes spreading out fluidly and beautifully. The notes danced in unison with one another, giving it a light and airy melody, but somehow sounding a bit melancholy underneath it all. Miss Philharmonica's face turned from a confident smirk, to a look of pure shock. The stallion could not only play, he could play well.
The imagery in her head was that she was in a beautiful forest grove near a lake. The water was placid, sparkling in the sunlight. Suddenly, tiny points of light began to circle her and dance around her, the music overcoming her completely.
"...Miss Philharmonica, are ya alright?" A voice called out to her. When she came back to reality, she found Kester standing in front of her, a concerned expression on his face.
"Uh...was A' tha' bad? A' didn't mean ta' make ya cry." he chuckled.
"Cry? Wha...?" She brought her hoof up to her face, and sure enough, the music had moved her to the point she was shedding tears. She cleaned her face, and returned to her usual countenance. "Well, I must say that was a moving performance, Mister Malt."
"Does tha' mean A' impressed ya?" He asked, already knowing the answer.
I can NOT believe this rube made me cry with his music... "Yes...yes you did."
"So? When do we meet?" he asked, going back on-stage to pack up his harp.
"Well, I have nothing to do now, seeing as you were the last audition for today, so..."
"Great. Just give me a minute ta' pack up and we'll get goin'." he said, struggling to get the case closed.
"By the way..." she added.
"Hm?" He turned to look back at her.
"Madeline. My name is Madeline." she smirked.